As part of our new neighborhood maps, which are located at your nearest concierge desk, we’ve included a walking tour of each neighborhood that will give you a taste of what each neighborhood has to offer and what makes each one special.
From its tree-lined residential streets to its sought-after shops, restaurants, nightlife, and cultural offerings, Chicago’s West Town neighborhood has a culture and vibe all its own.
Leghorn’s fried chicken is so juicy that the bird not only falls out of the biscuit it’s in but even out of its own skin. However, the chicken is the only traditional thing about this socially-conscious BYOB shack as they close as soon as they run out of their locally-grown birds, and you can even add Japanese KewPie Mayonnaise to your sandwich. This place is all attitude from the delicious chicken that kicks in you in the face in the first bite to the Public Enemy songs blaring from the speakers.
An official city landmark and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, this church is only one of two churches designed by famed American architect Louis Sullivan. If it looks quaint on the outside it’s because it’s modeled after the rural Orthodox cathedrals in Russia. That all changes once you step inside and see the intricate and beautiful reredo.
Walking down unsuspecting Oakley Blvd. this 99-year old Byzantine-Slavonic cathedral will stop you in your tracks. Before you enter you’ll notice the thirteen copper domes 122 feet above you that represent Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles. Once inside, the nine-tier golden chandelier is the main attraction that brings the elaborate mosaics and frescoes to life.
With its golden dome it’s hard to miss this stunning church. THe impressive mosaic depicting Prince Volodymyr Christianizing the Kievan Rus’ is just a sample of what you’ll experience inside. The walls of this Byzantine-Ukrainian church are covered with storybook depictions of key biblical tales such as the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
What started as a place to highlight the many contemporary Ukrainian artists in the 1970s has become an alternative modern art museum that has added works from artists from the U.S., Lithuania, and Poland. Although it houses an extensive permanent collection and rotating exhibits, what sets it apart are the films, musical performances, gallery talks, and literary events.
This small shop is where you’ll find that souvenir that is more than just a T-Shirt with “the Bean” on it. With works from 100 independent artists there is something for everyone here whether it be tie bars with maps of the city, beautiful prints of tableaus, or just a cute poster of two foxes playing a guitar and autoharp. Paperish Mess has a unique gift for you.
Whiskey Bacon Gelato Bar. I question your taste buds if you need more of a reason to visit chef Jessica Oloroso’s gelato shop. With unique flavors like blueberry french toast, blood orange sorbet, and Mexican hot chocolate, Black Dog Gelato is a great place to challenge your notions of what gelato is and cool down at the same time.
If you’re getting an itch to do some shopping and want to avoid all the big name stores then this Chicago boutique is where you want to be. This isn’t a clothing store for those into big, loud pieces. Penelope’s is all about quality and construction focusing on everyday wear. Take this opportunity to explore all the other great shops on Division Street.
After experiencing the contemporary Penelope’s get ready for the other side of the spectrum at this West Town staple. It’s easy to giggle at it when you spot the large horse out front, but inside Alcala’s is extremely serious about getting you the best in quality Western attire and you’ll notice it as soon as you see their intricate cowboy boots. When artists ranging from Robert Plant to Vicente Fernandez are shopping here then you know you’re in a gem.
Carnivores will rejoice when they spot boar, alligator, venison, elk, rabbit, and even alpaca on the menu. There doesn’t seem to be an animal that Frontier is afraid of cooking and their repeat customers are thankful for that. They’re even know to do whole animal dinners.
Tags: Alcala's Western Wear, Black Dog Gelato, Frontier, Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, Leghorn, Paperish Mess, Penelope's, Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, West Town
Concierge Correspondent Kristen Klus of the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago is back from an Italian overseas adventure and has scoured the city to find truly authentic Italian-inspired experiences. So discover a little bit of Italia with Kristen’s picks for things to do in Chicago. Piacere il viaggio!